Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Community Based Services, Marta Miranda-Straub, said frontline child protective services staff are working hard to keep kids safe, but noted her agency relies on teachers and childcare providers to help identify at-risk kids. With schools closed, there have been no extra sets of eyes.
Miranda-Straub also said access to quality childcare for working parents is a major concern.
“Parents need to go to work. And what are we going to do with those kids? Are they going to be put in unsafe places with people without background checks or maintain safety guidelines as recommended?” Miranda-Straub said. “So, that’s what keeps me awake at night.”
In 2019, the state’s Department of Community Based Services received more than 130,000 calls related to suspected child abuse or neglect. More than 10,000 children in the Commonwealth are in foster care.